In 2011, growers continue to turn to protected options.
Some, spooked by a rare February freeze, may be less willing to trust their fates to the open field this winter. Or they’re responding to short water supply in Sinaloa.
“Water is definitely a challenge,” Viramontes said.
“The more you see restrictions in use of water, the more you’re going to require these (protected) technologies. It makes you take better advantage of the resources.”
In some areas, like the Culiacan valley, infrastructure for protected agriculture has grown 15% in the past year. The nationwide rate is 10% or 12%. AMHPAC members are increasingly branching out into specialty items, like mini bell peppers.
Viramontes isn’t worried about a repeat of February.
“Most growers are betting on the good weather of Sinaloa, not another freeze,” he said.
“They calculate that as something that happens every 50-plus years.”